The Price

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)

"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

"that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you." (John 14:16,17)

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:26)

Every born-again Christian recognizes the Trinity. We understand that God is Spirit; therefore, the Holy Spirit is the essence of God. We understand also that He is the emissary of God on earth, the extension of God, Who touches and communes with each of us individually. We don't understand how He does it, but we have it proved to us every day.

Why, then, do we not walk more strongly than we do? Jesus said we would do greater things than He, but we don't even approach the power of His ministry, except in isolated cases.

Truthfully, we are unwilling to pay the price. Jesus told us to count the cost, but we don't even consider it. We believe that because we accept the Bible as doctrinally correct, or because we are emotionally inspired, we have everything necessary for the complete salvation experience. But we are wrong.

Salvation probes deeper than our minds and our emotions. If we stop there, we miss the full intention of God to touch our spirit with His Spirit. When the Spirit of God touches the spirit of man, the unavoidable result is repentance. Renewal of the mind takes place. Death and resurrection manifests itself. We become new creatures in Christ.

The price is the working of the cross in our lives. We love ourselves too much to lay down our lives completely. Jesus tells us five different times in Scripture to take up our cross. The Apostle Paul said he died daily.

We are not unwilling to work for the Lord, but if we go no further than our minds and our emotions, our work becomes an expression of our limited experience. If we are mentally strong, our minds govern our good deeds (remember, we received the knowledge of "good" in the garden). If we are motivated by compassion, our emotions control our work.

On the surface, this doesn't seem to be bad. Perhaps it isn't, but it interferes with the purity of our service to God. Our best thoughts and emotions can't bring the power of God's life into a person. The Spirit is the One who quickens. Our good works are as filthy rags when compared with the work of the Spirit.

If we want to serve the Lord according to His will, not our own, we must submit our spirit to the Holy Spirit. "But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him." (1 Corinthians 6:17) As we give the Holy Spirit dominion, we experience release of our spirit. The Holy Spirit can then use our spirit as the means to bring life to others.

Whether or not this happens depends upon our willingness to die to the demands of our flesh. Neither our emotions nor our flesh has the essence of God; therefore, they cannot be joined with God. Only our spirit has the essence of God; therefore, only our spirit can be eternally united with Him.

If we try to reach God through our thoughts, when we lose our concentration, we lose contact with God. If we attempt to use our emotions to come into the presence of God, as soon as we relax our emotions, we lose His presence. All this activity on our part must come to an end. Activity always involves flesh, with our minds, our wills or our emotions in control.

When we die to those attitudes, the Holy Spirit is free to emerge and bring our spirit with Him. We no longer have to seek the presence of God, we are constantly in the presence of God! We begin to sense the presence of God in our conversation as much as in our prayer. The busyness of life does not interfere. We are not drawn away from God by circumstances, we bring God into the center of the circumstances. We carry on our daily activities, at the same time, abiding in Him.

This depends upon our willingness to be in the hands of God. When we express this willingness to Him, we step across the threshold and begin our journey along His spiritual road. This is the moment of consecration, our willingness to be set apart from society to become vessels fit for His use. Without this decision, this dying to self, the Holy Spirit has a difficult job preparing us to be useful for the Father.

If we truly wish for this transformation, we must understand we cannot accomplish it ourselves. Our attempt results in something artificial. Our part is submission to God, and our willingness to accept whatever He places before us. This more than likely means our flesh will become uncomfortable, because it will go through a dying process. But there can be no resurrection until there is first a death. As our flesh dies, our spirit is strengthened and released to be used by God.

Do we want to be fruitful for God? Do we want our fruit to be fruit that only He has produced? Do we want to discontinue the dominance of our flesh? Do we want to truly walk in the spirit and worship in the spirit? It is available to us if we submit to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to discipline and direct our service to the Father.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: How have I demonstrated to Christ that I am willing to pay the price?